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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
The good things about this ship: Room is of good size with plenty of sorage space. We were lucky to choose a balcony at the very back of the ship with enough space for a table, 3 sitting chairs and two lounge chairs. The Chops Grill ... Read More
The good things about this ship: Room is of good size with plenty of sorage space. We were lucky to choose a balcony at the very back of the ship with enough space for a table, 3 sitting chairs and two lounge chairs. The Chops Grill on this ship was my best dining venue on all my cruiselines and I've taken mostly more upscale than This one. Should I end up on another RCCL voyage And it's at par to this one I will spend most of my meals there. Excursions (Persian Golf cruise) were great and affordable. The ship is retiring in a few weeks! And now for the not so good news. Oftentimes we could smell the sewage on most of the starboard side of the ship. Fortunately our area was spared, but for most people it definitely was a nuisance. Our toilet system broke down on every single day, although we never used anything but tissue paper as what was asked. They came twice in the week to the entire mechanism but it work for maybe an hour ans would break up again. We ended up using the public toilets most of the time. Aside from Chops Grill, food is very dissapointing, but then, I am accustomed to better cruiselines. Level of service in restaurants vary a lot, this is especially true in the Windjammer Cafe where you do not have an assigned waiter. This is the first time in all my cruises that I was not able to get a table for 2. Those are very rare so don't even hope for it. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our 4th cruise with RCL and one we embarked on with some concerns after reading the ship reviews here. We've only sailed on bigger ships before so again had concerns that we might not like the smaller vessel. We had no need ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with RCL and one we embarked on with some concerns after reading the ship reviews here. We've only sailed on bigger ships before so again had concerns that we might not like the smaller vessel. We had no need to worry as our cruise was 1st class from start to finish. Ship was spotlessly clean, and whilst it doesn't have all the facilities of its newer and bigger sisters, it lacked nothing essential for a 7 day stay. Embarkation was smooth at Dubai as expected as was our disembarkation on our return. Cabins were ready at 1pm and our junior suite was all we needed, albeit a little smaller than we are used to. Our stateroom attendant, Raj, was very attentive throughout the cruise. We chose to eat in Windjammer as it gives us the flexibility we like. We were impressed with the quality and variety of the food all week and only struggled a couple of times to get tables, particularly on our day at sea. Staff were great - very helpful and cheerful. We used RCL for 3 excursions in Muscat, Abu Dhabi and nighttime in Dubai, all of which were excellent. So, overall the 4 of us had a great time! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Some of the reviews for the Splendour remind me a bit of reviews I read about Monarch of the Seas a few years back just before it was sold. The Monarch proved to be a well-run happy ship and the same was true of Splendour. The ship may ... Read More
Some of the reviews for the Splendour remind me a bit of reviews I read about Monarch of the Seas a few years back just before it was sold. The Monarch proved to be a well-run happy ship and the same was true of Splendour. The ship may not be the newest or biggest but it’s well-maintained and the crew is still 100% committed. Fares are very competitive so if you pay $500 for a 7 day cruise in reasonably exotic waters you can’t expect the experience you might get on, say, Seabourne. What we got was honest value and a very pleasant cruise. Embarkation was good, possibly because we arrived at about 12 Noon and had completed all the online check-in documents. We were quickly aboard, said hello to our steward Annie, dropped our bags and headed for the Windjammer which I found surprisingly quiet for an embarkation day. Food everywhere, while not the best, was more than adequate with plenty on offer in the Windjammer and reasonable variety in the dining room where our waiters Maria and Maricel made every evening an event. We were travelling light but managed to make a fist of Formal nights. A jacket and tie was enough to avoid you feeling uncomfortable. We took the occasional breakfast and lunch in the MDR too. Options were reasonable. Some of the secondary dining locations such as the dog house and Park Café offered variety as did the enthusiastic ice cream lady on the pool deck. We had an inside (3081) and crowded in a third adult – my son. Not as nice as a balcony but it wasn’t exactly hardship either. The TV showed some watchable films – Ant Man, Jurassic Park, National Lampoons Vacation etc. they came on a loop and I think we eventually saw them all. Not sure what German guests were making of continual repeats of Allo Allo though! There was just about enough room for us to organise things. There was plenty of storage. The shower curtain could have been a bit more generous but it’s a small grumble. A better bet was to head for the pool deck to see some blockbusters on the big screen including Everest, A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson) and The Walk. Blankets were provided. Entertainment looked adequate too although the only time we went to the main theatre the lighting of the acrobats seemed to be out of synch. Acrobatics and shows in the Centrum were better I thought – especially the Beatles tribute bend who were excellent. Ports of Call were unusual. We took a dhow up the fjords at Khasab which was really pleasant. We got to see dolphins following the boat and had 30 mins in which to swim off Telegraph Island – and get ashore to see the ruins of the old British telegraph station. In Muscat we walked around the town under our own steam. It was reasonably interesting. We managed two half days of rain there which was unlucky given they get 12 days of rain all year. In Abu Dhabi we visited Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque which was very impressive, The visit to the Heritage Village was cancelled because of the Red Bull Air show which was disappointing. The alternative offered – a coach tour of Yas Island wasn’t as attractive. For the last day the ship docked back at Dubai. Since we had a few days booked in Dubai after the cruise we took the opportunity to stay aboard which was a relaxing end to the trip. To be honest, I wonder why I go sometimes. I tend to stay in insides, never go to the shows, don’t drink, don’t pay for speciality dining, don’t gamble, don’t use the spa or gym or climbing wall or mini-golf and only take a few excursions. Despite that I enjoy being on ships and the Splendour was a nice ship to be on. It says a lot for the commitment of the crew that they kept standards sky high just a few weeks before the ship is sold to Thomson. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our first experience of cruising so we had mixed feelings once we started to read the reviews but I suppose you can't please all of the people all of the time. We were met at the airport and because of the time of day 8:00am ... Read More
This was our first experience of cruising so we had mixed feelings once we started to read the reviews but I suppose you can't please all of the people all of the time. We were met at the airport and because of the time of day 8:00am we were taken to a lovely hotel for breakfast and whilst there we completed our paperwork in preparation for boarding the ship. That was effortless and then a short journey to the ship we were told that our cabins would be available in a couple of hours but all facilities were open for us to use so again that was fine. We really enjoyed our holiday, the food was first class, our cabin 2004 was adequate clean and plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, we had an ocean view but with a pothole so it was a little dark. The staff were friendly and very obliging and nothing was too much trouble. We ate every night in the King & I restaurant and had no problem booking a table and the food was excellent. The Windjammer at lunch time was always extremely busy and there was a window of 1.5hrs 12:30-2:00 when it was very chaotic and tables were very difficult to get. We had one day at sea which was difficult with 2000 people all using the ships facilities they were strecthed to the limit with people having to sit on the deck floor as all sunbeds were full. Drinks packages we bought the package before we started our holiday all I would say is if you are not sure if it's for you there's no hurry as you can purchase on board the only stipulation is when you buy it it has to be for the rest of your holiday eg buy Wednesday you would pay for 5days. Water, juice,coffee and tea are free from drinks stations. If you don't want to go on trips you can do your own thing and there are free buses from the ship to take you into the resort. There was plenty of entertainment choices from line dancing to quizzes during the day if that's your thing and the evening could easily be enjoyed going to a show or just relaxing in one if the bars. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I have just returned from my 6th Cruise and 2nd with RCI. I chose this cruise mainly for the Price and Destination offered and all in all was very good value for money. Splendour is nearly 20 years old and on its last season before ... Read More
I have just returned from my 6th Cruise and 2nd with RCI. I chose this cruise mainly for the Price and Destination offered and all in all was very good value for money. Splendour is nearly 20 years old and on its last season before transferring to Thomson (where it will greatly improve their fleet). Some people mentioned it was tired looking but i didn't think this was the case. The Staff in general were extremely helpful,fun and hard working. Our BA Flight arrived in Dubai before 0800 so we were met on arrival and transferred to the Le Meridian Hotel over the road from the airport for breakfast and to complete the check in procedure which took about ten minutes. We were then transferred to Port Rashid and was onboard by 11am and our stateroom was ready about 1pm. We had full use of the ships facilities as soon as we got on board. Our Cabin 3031 was a Category N Inside Stateroom and had sufficient wardrobe and storage space and 2 very comfy beds. We ate most nights in the King and I restaurant, on my time dining, which i pre booked in advance before leaving the Uk and had a table for 2 every night with no problem. The Formal nights aren't anything to get hung up about, we were planning on going to the Windjammer on the Formal nights as packed a jacket but no tie or tux but the waiter said it is no problem, so we went to Formal night in trousers jacket and shirt. We used the windjammer for lunch and breakfast, at times it was chaotic as so many people were eating here and you would get your food(which there was a great choice) then struggle to find a table to sit at. The entertainment was ok, not really my thing and as we ate late the only show we went to watch was the Beatles tribute band, who were brilliant,then up to the Disco in the Crown Viking Lounge. The night we departed Muscat there was a Middle East deck party which was ok,there was a belly dancer and after 3 middle eastern songs it kicked into full Ricky Martin and US/UK artists songs but everyone had a good time. The Drinks package i pre purchased in uk at approx £28 a day for the Select Package,this entitled us to Beer,Wine by the Glass and Soft drinks and non alcoholic cocktails....my only frustration with this is no one actually explained which beers were included so each time to make sure i didnt get charged i asked is this included in the package. The cheapest Wine was approx $9 per glass and Beer about $6 per drink which you would have to pay an 18% gratuity charge on top so i think i got my moneys worth just....if you have the drink package you also have to pre pay your gratuities for the cruise which i did as i cant be doing with tipping. The Excursions offered by RCI were not cheap either.... KHASAB-We decided to do the Dhow Cruise,RCI wanted £47 pp for a half day tour, i booked it in advance locally for 25 Euros and our boat had shade and 14 people on board(all from our ship and included fruit,water,tea,coffee) the boats used by RCI had over 100 people on and had no shade upstairs. I know we had the best deal MUSCAT-We did the Big Bus Tour,it was the same price booking direct or via RCI so we used RCI,we were picked up from the Port but a 2 hour(if you don't get off) bus tour at over £40 wasn't great value in my opinion. Muscat itself is only about a 20 min walk from the Port to the Souk anyway. ABU DHABI-We did the Big Bus Tour,it was the same price booking direct or via RCI so we used RCI,we were picked up from the Port and after doing part of the Red route(where the headphone jacks didn't work) we jumped on the Purple bus to visit Yas Island(with a tour guide no headphones), after 5 hours in total when we got back to the red route we took the shuttle bus back to the Port, but this was great value for money and well worth it, as so much to see in Abu Dhabi DUBAI-We decided we wanted to visit Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world so pre booked before leaving the Uk for about £25 ourselves. We got a taxi from the Port which was approx 60 AED (you have to pay a 20AED surcharge leaving the Port which is included in the fare) and to get back to the Port we only paid 30 AED. It was well worth the trip to the 124th floor and the amazing views,entrance is via the Dubai Mall which is massive! I have a few gripes with Royal Caribbean, they are very sell sell sell....trying to sell you upgraded drinks packages,trying to sell their Asian and Steak restaurants at a huge supplement,trying to sell you a tour of the ship to the galley,the bridge etc,always pushing the Spa,the Large Screen showing activities from the Cruise Director was always a sales pitch and was repeated about 5 times on the bounce before they would switch it off, the annoying jazzy,piano,light drum music that had no lyrics played around the pool that no one has ever heard of and the very expensive wifi rates. Lots of people use wifi now and i'm sure if they dropped their prices a little they would sell more. After 4 days of no contact from the outside world we decided to go for it....$20 per day for 1 device and 50% off for a 2nd Device...so $30 per day (the small print says once taken it has t be for the duration of the cruise...so couldn't use it just for 1 day) and i only really wanted it to be able to do my online check in for my return flight the day before flying home. Oh and No bottled water...unless you paid for it or upgraded your drinks package! Disembarkation was painless, we were told to meet in the showlounge at 6am (Breakfast was available before) and were called by Number and taken to the Terminal where our bags were waiting for us, we were then transferred to Dubai airport with no problems. The Food was good,not spectacular but nice all the same and the King and I Restaurant was good for a 3 course evening meal. Windjammer buffet had plenty of choices but limited seating at times and there was also a burger/hot dog eatery and snacks in the Solarium area. All in all i was very pleased with this cruise, to get flights,transfers,meals and a cruise for a week for £600 with gratuities was brilliant, a 5 night holiday in Dubai with no food would cost you more and you also get to see so many interesting places. The highlight for me was Khasab seeing the Omani Fjords and the dolphins swimming alongside our Dhow and Abu Dhabi, every building is bigger or more ecentric than the last...oh and the fantastic weather which was 80-85 degrees every day. The ship was very good, a smaller ship compared to most now at 70,000 Tonnes but was full of hardworking and joyful staff. I would definitely use RCI again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our 10th cruise, 3rd on this class of ship and 3rd with Royal Caribbean. This cruise may have started on a tired outdated ship but there was nothing else tired about it except the passengers who seemed determined to have a great ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise, 3rd on this class of ship and 3rd with Royal Caribbean. This cruise may have started on a tired outdated ship but there was nothing else tired about it except the passengers who seemed determined to have a great holiday. You should be proud of your staff, they were hard working, friendly nothing too much bother. Ok the theatre show, with exception of Beetles tribute were not brilliant but the other locations around the ship were brilliant. Great musicians and singers made for a party every night. Food was good, waiters and unusually head waiters determined to make sure you enjoyed what was offered and happy to change if you didn't. Cabin stewards and not only your own so nice and cabins kept immaculately. I just wish the cruise lines would take on board that there is a place in the market for these smaller ships. We don't all want massive ships and bigger is not always better. So please replace this ship with an updated version. Gripes - usual. Drinks extortionate as were excursions. No tea coffee toiletries supplied. No fridge. So come on RC, build a new small ship, sort out the things noted above and increase size of inside staterooms and their bathrooms, and you would continue to have a loyal following. And thanks fellow passengers for making this one of our best cruises ever. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our second Royal Caribbean experience the first being the Voyager of the Seas in November last year. The Splendour of the seas is smaller and older. Smaller need not an issue but there are signs of aging in parts of the ship. ... Read More
This was our second Royal Caribbean experience the first being the Voyager of the Seas in November last year. The Splendour of the seas is smaller and older. Smaller need not an issue but there are signs of aging in parts of the ship. The Stateroom was a little jaded as were some of the public areas. Having said that the service was excellent as was the food. The entertainment was just about OK but the speakers, who gave briefings on the destinations, need to be changed or given training in public speaking. The facts may have been interesting but the delivery was flat, monotone and dull. This seemed to suit many in the audience who soon fell into a restful sleep. The deck pool and wirlpools were fine but on sea days you had to be up early to get a sunbed and up very early to get one in full sunlight. The staff did try and impose the rule that "a sunbed could not be reserved (with a towl etc.) for more than half an hour" but they were fighting an uphill battle. There was also an indoor pool that was actually better for swimming. We mainly judge by comparison which is why this ship doesn’t score to highly. But is this was the first time that I had stepped onto a cruise ship I would have been very impressed. Especially considering the price we paid. Return BA flights from Heathrow, seven night’s full board accommodation with more food than anyone could eat with visits to some interesting and exotic locations and all this for just seven hundred quid. The only question is “how do they do it?” Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We were cruising as a family with young kids. We were expecting sun, good food, relaxing time at the pool and of course some new cities to see. This time we almost got all that we wanted -that isn't so great as NCL, with as old ship, ... Read More
We were cruising as a family with young kids. We were expecting sun, good food, relaxing time at the pool and of course some new cities to see. This time we almost got all that we wanted -that isn't so great as NCL, with as old ship, managed to provide us earlier everything expected, and even more! Main feeling we got, was that for some reason, organization lacks communication; there was lot's of hassle with beverage packages, stateroom and dining arrangements – too often the answer was that ask somewhere else. There were still few bright stars who made our day several times, thanks to them! Food was pretty average, based on earlier experience we were expecting more. Meat dishes weren't so amazing, bread selection was narrow and fruit offering was always pretty much the same. Windjammer as an environment was rather stressful: it was too full or closing or partly closed with fences. We would have also appreciated more flexibility with dining hours; now it was impossible for example to have a proper early dinner with the kids. Select beverage package was also causing lot's of questions; for example one day sparkling wine wasn't included and next day it was, one day it was also charged as prosecco without notice. Shows and entertainment were mediocre. Some of the dancers were good, some weren't. We felt that content was bit too much targeted to older and British audience; Beatles, quizzes about kings of the UK, old movies etc. Kids activities however were awesome and basically that was the most important one for us! We booked one shore excursion which was arranged by Arabian adventures and that one was great! Otherwise we went to see ports on our own and had really nice days. During the last night there was one final letdown; we went bed early to get a good sleep before the flight. Around 3AM they however started to roll big and heavy metallic luggage containers out from the ship with huge bangs. The noise was insane and it lasted for rather long time. Our cruise wasn't too bad. If it would have been the first one, we maybe could have been even happier. But as NCL set the record so high earlier, we were expecting more. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2016
We booked with Virgin, so two nights in a hotel The Hilton Ras Al Kahimah which was a great way to start a holiday. On arrival at the port terminal we were greeted by long queues, in fact we queued for an hour and a half, not a good ... Read More
We booked with Virgin, so two nights in a hotel The Hilton Ras Al Kahimah which was a great way to start a holiday. On arrival at the port terminal we were greeted by long queues, in fact we queued for an hour and a half, not a good start. However once aboard we found our cabin reasonably spacious, okay it was a bit larger than expected but not at all bad size wise and very clean with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. So off to the bar for a drink, thank goodness we were offered a drinks package with our "state room". The bar prices were a bit steep and most people took a drinks package once they saw the prices of the drinks. The first nights dining service was okay with it seems everybody finding there feet. After a couple of nights we found one particular table with exceptional waiting staff and kept that for the remainder of the cruise. The trips, the trips were let us say pricey and because of the ports of call it became obvious that without going on them you were a bit stuck, although to be fair Muscat was walkable and Abu Dhabi and Dubai you could get taxis, but to get into places like the Burj Khalifa you had to have a booking and this only came with an organised tour. Wi-Fi was expensive and I believe Royal Caribbean missed a trick here as free Wi-Fi would have given them free publicity via social media, then again maybe that's why the make it expensive. The pick up from the ship was a bit chaotic to say the least but that was down to Virgin as no time was given for our pick up and the coach driver did not make himself obvious once we left the departure hall, in fact a few people did finish up on the wrong coach and at the wrong terminal once they reached the airport. We enjoyed the cruise although we have been on better, but sometimes you just have to make the best of things. So to finish off, staff great, fellow guests, mostly great, food good maybe not great, the ship a little tired but as it's been sold to Thomson I suppose that's to be expected. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2016
First cruise with Royal Caribbean and on this experience not keen to return. Embarcation was ok for us as we were early though it took some time for luggage to arrive The ship is a good size but we had plumbing problems in our shower ... Read More
First cruise with Royal Caribbean and on this experience not keen to return. Embarcation was ok for us as we were early though it took some time for luggage to arrive The ship is a good size but we had plumbing problems in our shower and found our cabin]which had a balcony to be very basic in its furnishing and tight in space. Assumed that since it has been sold there has been little outlay in replacing curtaining etc. but the problems in the Windjammer at breakfast and lunch must have other reasons. There seemed to be a strange lack of consistency in the layout of the food at breakfast and it was difficult to find things like honey and some cereals. Lunch time could be really busy and the constant messages over the tannoy telling people to move from the table when finished made for a less than relaxing experience. Dinner in the main restaurant was ok but nothing stood out. The starter portions when prawns or other seafood were very small and the desserts were average. Service was fine and there was a constant flow of staff clearing up but at the self service meals the layout seemed to cause chaos with too many people milling about trying to find what they were looking for The evening shows were again mixed with nothing exceptional. There was an aerial show in the atrium which was better on one occasion than the other when there seemed to be technical problems. Most of our excursions were either included in our package or booked ourselves and we were happy with most aspects. The ship organised tour in Muscat was good. Not nearly, as good as Princess in terms of entertainment or food. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2016
Having completed this itinerary two years ago on the Serenade of the Seas, I had high expectations of this reprise, and headed a small travel group of 10. Overall, the group had a good time, but Splendour cannot be fully credited for this ... Read More
Having completed this itinerary two years ago on the Serenade of the Seas, I had high expectations of this reprise, and headed a small travel group of 10. Overall, the group had a good time, but Splendour cannot be fully credited for this outcome. The Good Embarkation: Check-in at 11:30am was quick, smooth, and well-organized. Having read all the materials,we were prepared to surrender our passports, and were thrilled with our Omani visa stamps when we got them back at the conclusion of the cruise. Staff: Our group was serviced by 3 Cabin Stewards, all of whom turned in at least an acceptable performance. Some of us had friendlier stewards or ones whose towel animals were more creative. Guest Services staff were FABULOUS. Each time I visited, I was assisted, promptly, efficiently, and received promised follow-up. Best of all, our waiter at dinner was far and away the best I've encountered. His razor-sharp wit, quick thinking and spot-on recommendations were a hit with the group. Food: The food in the Windjammer Cafe was actually pretty good. There were flavors for all palates and at breakfast, if one wished to wait in the queue, options for freshly cooked eggs/meats. I found meals in the King & I Dining hall to be unfailingly delicious and well-presented. Wifi: Value is a personal thing. I MUST be connected, so having an option for unlimited wifi, however pricey - was wonderful. I purchased that package, and connected consistently and seamlessly the entire time. I was able to text and make "phone calls" back home using Facebook messenger. The Bad Cabin: I selected a Junior Suite and for some reason expected more from the balcony. The barren balcony area had only two uncomfy mesh chairs and a table - no lounger. Guess I must have chosen the wrong side of the ship, because we never faced any port at which we docked. The bed was terribly uncomfortable and made my back ache the entire trip. It kept moving away from the wall, so I rolled off one night -- and discovered some sort of old bedding wadded in plastic underneath. The bathroom was adequate, but for about 24 hours, the water ran brown, then yellow, making it a scary proposition to shower or brush teeth -- despite the ship's assurance that the "problem had been fixed." (The suite had tons of storage space, however). Entertainment: I thought perhaps it was just me - but on recap, not a single one of us enjoyed the entertainment in the main theater. It was really, really, BAD. The acrobats performed on a single prop for far too long, the comic/magician was neither comic, nor magic, and that ship's production shows were mediocre at best - suffering more from poor arrangements as opposed to lack of talent. Sans the main entertainment or ballroom dancing in the centrum, there wasn't really much to do -- at least for our group of 30 - 50 somethings. Excursions: I have to agree these were overpriced. I used independent tour operators for our group. Highly recommend Oceanair Travel in Abu Dhabi/Dubai and Musendam Tours in Muscat/Khasab. We combined a city tour and dhow cruise in Khasab, paying about 50% of the Splendour's asking price and had, perhaps, the most memorable excursion of the entire trip. We went inland and saw prehistoric rock carvings, caves, visited Khasab castle/fort and a small shopping area. We spent an absolutely decadent afternoon on a dhow, drinking tea, eating fruit and being served a delicious lunch, after which we saw dolphins and swam with some of the local fish in the clear waters near Telegraph Island. I did pay for Splendour's "Panoramic Muscat by Night" tour. It was not as exciting as I recalled from my first trip. I also bought the ship's hop on/hop off bus in Abu Dhabi. The bus takes so long (2.5 hours) to complete its route, and repeats so infrequently (1x each 1/2 hour or hour depending on line), that there's really not sufficient time to hop off more than once, to tour the Mosque. All in all, our group enjoyed the cruise, but travelers complained of the lack of engaging activities onboard ship, the price and quantity of add-ons, and maintenance issues (the brown water and a gas odor that nauseated a few people). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We sailed on this ship to celebrate my special birthday but the cruise was far from ideal, at best it was mediocre. The ship was dated, we had booked a junior suite and were informed by our agent that we had been upgraded to a grand suite ... Read More
We sailed on this ship to celebrate my special birthday but the cruise was far from ideal, at best it was mediocre. The ship was dated, we had booked a junior suite and were informed by our agent that we had been upgraded to a grand suite 8014 which we accepted but on embarkation Royal Caribbean said they did not get a confirmation from the agent so they had given it to someone else, they were unhelpful and rude, so we didn't get the upgrade but their view was that as we hadn't paid for it that we shouldn't be unhappy about the situation so we decided to drop the issue and enjoy our cruise as our feelings did not count. Customer relation did say they would look into what went wrong and let us know but they never got in touch. my husband did follow it up with them. Our junior suite had a large crack in the bathroom sink, which they knew about and were waiting to have it done. The metal rack for toiletries over the bath was broken and the room smelt stale and musty, we had to leave the balcony door open all the time. I had paid full price for this cruise so I expected better as I have cruised before and know what to expect. On a positive note the room was a good size and housekeeping were helpful. As for the entertainment it was okay but not spectacular but then it appeared to be a budget ship. The entertainment in the Centrum was popular but due to lack of seating in a small ship I could never find anywhere to sit and with knee surgery I could not stand for long. The Karoke was very entertaining and some very talented guests. The food in the King and I dining room was not very good and always cold when it arrived and also very salty. I mentioned this to the waiter and he said the other people had also complained of these things. So ate in the windjammer restaurant and food here was reasonable and we could always find something nice to eat though it was difficult to find a table at busy times and the staff were always very pleasant and helpful. As for the Royal Caribbean ethos of sell sell sell and lack of care for their customers they will not be on my future sailings list. I have not sailed with them before and maybe I just picked a poor ship that has been sold and general apathy has set in as all the staff have been transferred to other ships after the sale. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
Everything went smoothly with this cruise. the pick up arrangements at the airport, the check-in for the ship at a hotel and the access to to ship and cabin. A week in the sunshine (in Jan/Feb) helped but our memories are of a very ... Read More
Everything went smoothly with this cruise. the pick up arrangements at the airport, the check-in for the ship at a hotel and the access to to ship and cabin. A week in the sunshine (in Jan/Feb) helped but our memories are of a very pleasant trip, with no hassle and easy access (via courtesy bus) to all the ports and towns/cities without doing any formal excursions. Cabin was good, room services was excellent (even the breakfast served to the room was surprisingly good), bed was good as were the pillows. We were upgraded the day before we left so access to a both on a ship was a real bonus. Upgrade was to a Junior Suite. Bigger room, seating for four, lots of storage space, a bath and sizeable balcony. Upgrade became clear when so many people had booked at the last minute and had paid less than half of what we had paid. It happens when you book early and the upgrade made it much more acceptable to us, although some passengers do like to rub it in just how little they paid! Access to wifi was also available at the ports (free) which saved a fortune compared to the ship's wifi costs. Watched a film on the outdoor screen one evening - great arrangement and clear enough to see and hear the dialogue. Dining was good, staff were excellent and ship had everything we needed. Good entertainment most nights. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Splendour of the Seas has been sold to Thomsons for April 2016, but the ship was fine and no obvious sign of the ship under Royal Caribbean being run down. Once we all found the Royal Caribbean rep, we were picked up from Dubai airport ... Read More
Splendour of the Seas has been sold to Thomsons for April 2016, but the ship was fine and no obvious sign of the ship under Royal Caribbean being run down. Once we all found the Royal Caribbean rep, we were picked up from Dubai airport and taken by bus to Le Meridian Hotel (2 mins from airport) for ship-check in and a breakfast - that part was well organised. Then transferred in a 20 min journey to Port Rashid and to the ship, arriving at midday and cabin access was from circa 1.00pm onwards. Cabin 8584 was a Junior Suite and it was great to great such an upgrade so late on (bath, seating for 4 and larger cabin). However we discovered that many passengers from England Germany and Ireland had booked late and got deals which were about a half to one third of what we paid. One couple claimed to have paid one fifth of our cost. Frustrating, but not much you an do about it when you book early. Staff were excellent, Cruise Director was particularly good and the magician and Beatles tribute act were the best of the entertainment from our point of view. Evening meals were average to poor - which was disappointing. Lunch in the Windjammer was good and we took breakfast in our cabin for 5 mornings after being placed at tables with non-English speaking guests on the first two mornings! Excursions were expensive and we did our own thing at Khasab (not developed into anything like a tourist destination yet), Muscat - would recommend the bustling and busy soug (remember to haggle over all prices!) which was 7 mins walk from the port gates and saved a $40 return taxi journey!, free bus into Abu Dhabi and also to Dubai. The last two have free wifi in the Port Terminals which can be accessed from the port side of the ship if you are lucky. Weather was great - although we had two cold days! Two formal dinners which most people respected and the rest were smart/casual. You were allowed to take a bottle of wine on the ship at the start of the cruise. BUt they don't know if your bottle is wine or not until you are called down to security to prove to hem it is wine and not hard liquor! Makes you feel a bit of a criminal until you prove your innocence, protesting slightly too defensively as well. Some what were the downsides - the constant hard sell of everything imaginable by Royal Caribbean - ultimate drinks packages - $57 each per day; non-alcoholic drinks package was also expensive when you already get free water, lemonade, tea, coffee and ice cream - internet packages - $15 per day; - specialty restaurants - most expensive one (Chiefs Table) - $70 each per meal; -Spa - a range of packages from £109 to $139 for each session; - Photography package -4129 for a pictures taken on the cruise as long as you buy by third day, so you don't know how the pics for the last 4 days might turn out; - DVD - $30; - Casino packages, watch & camera sales, shopping sales every night on Deck 5, laundry best package - £30 for a bag of washing. - $30 per person to visit the Galley (with brunch); And so it went on. The cheapest bottle of wine we could buy at evening meal time was $34. A decent bottle was about $50/65. Lastly - they offered a special package to 30 mins internet access at $10 to allow you to book your return flight online and access your boarding pass - 24 hours before you went home. But they omit to tell you that internet access is free at Dubai Port terminal, a mere 2 min walk from the ship with 24 hour access! Having avoided all the add ons - we really enjoyed the cruise - good to access winter sun, the good company of a number of people we met and excellent and hard working/committed staff. Leaving was fine - for us it was a 3.30am rise, quick shower, some light eats at Deck 9 (which they opened between 1.00am - 5.00am for us early travellers - very helpful), and bus to airport. Pity it took us to the wrong terminal. I reckon you will get excellent deals to do this cruise from now until April - enjoy it and avoid these annoying additional costs, which mostly were avoidable and unnecessary with a bit of thought/ingenuity. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Just returned from 7 night cruise departing Dubai and was very disappointed, this our 4th cruise with Royal Caribbean the last one about five years ago but oh! how standards have fallen, boarding at Dubai was straight forward with minimum ... Read More
Just returned from 7 night cruise departing Dubai and was very disappointed, this our 4th cruise with Royal Caribbean the last one about five years ago but oh! how standards have fallen, boarding at Dubai was straight forward with minimum waiting but that was the last of the good things, our cabin although small was OK but lacked some things that other cruise lines provide like a fridge, tea/coffee making facilities and bathroom toiletries. There has obviously been cuts in staff numbers and this was evident in the windjammer café as almost every time we visited we had to clear the table ourselves and find someone to wipe the table, whilst there was a good selection of food it was rather bland and on several occasions I had to ask for banana's and grapes which I would have thought would be basic items on any fruit bar. The entertainment was truly basic, one night we had a man and a woman hanging from a shiny metal square doing what was described as acrobatics for 40 minutes, on another night we had what was described as a comic magician but all I can say is he wasn't, the remaining night the shows were the put on by the resident theatre group, we saw one but passed on the others. The excursions were as usual very over priced and not value for money, we tried one at our first stop but after that we got off the ship at our other stops and arranged our own much cheaper and better value for money. The food in the dining room again was bland with the service slow and the waiters overall demeanour indicating they were not happy. Staff at the guest services desk gave the impression that guest were a nuisance preventing them from getting on with other more important work and the IT room was completely devoid of staff meaning no help was available for people like me who are elderly and not very computer literate. Overall this was a cruise to forget and is the worst of all the 20 or so we have been on to date Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We paid the lowest price for an inside cabin. We were taken straight to the Ship from the airport. Guests that booked with Royal Caribbean were taken for breakfast first. We thought we may be in for a long wait before embarking as we ... Read More
We paid the lowest price for an inside cabin. We were taken straight to the Ship from the airport. Guests that booked with Royal Caribbean were taken for breakfast first. We thought we may be in for a long wait before embarking as we had an early morning arrival. After about 20 minutes we boarded at 10.30am. Although we could not get into our cabin until 1pm. Our cabin was spacious with plenty of wardrobe space, even being able to fit our suitcases in. Only negative was the air conditioning was noisy. Otherwise we slept very well. Did not feel as if we were moving! Everything else about the cruise was great from the staff, to the lovely food in The King and I restaurant. With such a good varied choice. Very friendly staff. I also enjoyed the entertainment, especially the dancers. Getting on and off the ship was easy. With free shuttles at every port the itinerary of this cruise was very diverse from the Kashab Souk to the Dubai Malls and Gold and Diamond Park. All in all a great experience. This was our 7th cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our seventh cruise, second with RCI. We had done this cruise before, but on Brilliance of the Seas. We booked everything through a cruise agent and was very happy. We departed from Birmingham on an Emirates flight EK38 on ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise, second with RCI. We had done this cruise before, but on Brilliance of the Seas. We booked everything through a cruise agent and was very happy. We departed from Birmingham on an Emirates flight EK38 on the Sunday evening at 20.25. Be aware as last time we experienced poor service from cabin crew. It almost seems like they cannot be bothered on this flight. As last time, we were served only one meal. In addition we were parched by the time we arrived at Dubai airport, once again due to the fact we were given very little in the way of free water or juices on the flight. Once again the cabin crew seemed to want to get the meal out of the way so they could have a decent rest before we arrived into Dubai. This was exactly the same as last time. The meal was only luke warm, like it hadn't been in the oven long enough. It seemed like everything was far too much trouble for them. We got to Dubai airport and didn't miss the transfers arranged by RCI. Last time we were escorted to a hotel for breakfast and had to go through the process of passports, cruise cards etc there which was a real pain considering we were tired. The only advantage was we were served water and fresh orange juice which we terribly needed. This time however, we had a private car arranged and it was so welcome. There was guy with a placard who escorted us straight to a car, loaded our luggage and took us to the port. Our bags were taken from us immediately by RCI crew and we waited in the lounge. We had priority boarding passes and there was no queing as we were one of the first there. We were first on the ship and used our cards immediately to upgrade to the Premium Package for drinks as we mainly drink spirits. This was $105 each for the week, which we thought was well worth it. Cabins were not available until 13.00 hours, but we had a change of clothes, previously packed in hand luggage so made ourselves comfortable until this time. However, we were incredibly tired. Our cabin was on deck 6 - 6022. It was the first time we had a balcony cabin. We didn't realise but these balconies had been added on a couple of years ago. It was ok though, there was somewhere to sit. We had requested double bed configuration. There was a dressing table with three small draws, but no other draws so we used the floor of the wardrobe. We took our own travel kettle and tea, coffee, sugar etc. There was no fridge. Apparently there were facilities and a fridge on higher up balcony cabins. There was a flat screen tv but the channel choice was pretty rubbish. Bathroom was usual cruise ship size. No toiletries provided apart from some shampoo, usually this is shower gel, which we did not bring with us so abit strange. As usual cabin steward very efficient, but he did get on my nerves alittle, keep knocking the door at night to see if we had gone out. We chose MY Time dining but was able to book for 9pm most evenings in advance and ask for a table for two. Sail Away party was a complete joke. Afew of the crew dancing around to awful music. No hooters sounding party atmosphere or anything. We have had fantastic ones on Thomson and Ocean Village in the past. This was a complete disappointment. Breakfast Mainly horrible. We mainly ate in the Windjammer. Absolute beglum. Like a cattle market, plastic plates. Bacon like scratchings it was done that much and sausage not always cooked right the way through. HP sauce scant. Coffee awful. Lunch Didn't always eat lunch but when we did mainly in the Windjammer again, although I did miss the ability to dine outside which we have experienced on lots of other ships. Dinner Taken every night in the King and I and I have to say this was fantastic. Our waiters, Favron and Sunny were brilliant. Nothing was too much trouble. They were attentive and hard working and all out to make sure we had an enjoyable experience. It was my birthday on the Saturday night and they were lovely. Excursions Didn't do any arranged ones. As we had been before we didn't get off first day as we wanted to relax after the exhausting day on Monday. Didn't seem like a lot to do in Khasab anyway. We were then in Muscat for two days and we decided day one should be spent on ship again and we could go out on day two. Once again great weather, as experienced last time. We walked around the souck but bothered by people all the time and no toilet facilities anywhere. Not great when you take a water tablet and have IBS!!!! When we did find one, there was only one working and it was absolutely disgusting. Abu Dhabi/Dubai - we once again bought Big Bus tickets for the two days, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but be aware if you bought in Dubai some of the advertised "free" attractions in Dubai were not included. This included Atlantis. Disappointing and not advised of this before purchase. However we did the beach tour in Dubai and the hotel drop after Burj was fantastic. Proper Arabian village type with water all around it. We took the hotels boat tour around it and if we go to Dubai again we will most certainly stay here. It was apparently a highlight of the tour. We also went to Dubai Mall, not so much for shopping but just a nose around at how big it is and we had something to eat here. Dubai is certainly full of rich folk. We had problems with our toilet in the cabin. For the last three to four days there was a problem with it not flushing. Each time we called reception they asked for maintenance to attend. Each time it was fixed when tried again same thing happened. No suction, just filled up with water. This was most annoying and I understand I am promised some discount off my next cruise with them. One week on and Im still awaiting the promised email. However, they did give us two days free internet access which is usually $20 per day per device. We also had late checkout which allowed us to stay on the ship till around quarter past eleven. Our private car was collecting us at 11.30. Of course you could stay later, but couldn't use cruise cards after 09.00 hrs. This was something we hadn't expected as even with Thomson you can use them right up until you disembark. Photographers were a pain in the neck. I didn't mind photo on embarkation or Formal Night but they came every night and even on sea days taking photos of folk in their costumes! who wants a shot of that. Drinks package was good. Husband drank Johnny Walker Black Label and I drank Bombay Saphhire. We also had cocktails. However, we did both have jippy tummies and my Husband suspected it was all the ice in the cocktails. Toilets on the decks were abit strange being located one below and one above the main deck 4. In addition I have never been on a ship where there are no toilets by the pool. Consequently if you are in your costume you have to cover up to go indoors to use one of the three toilets. These were also used for the Windjammer so you can imagine how busy they were. Smoking was Starboard side, deck 4 9 and 10. We were told the entertainment was rubbish. We did expect to see some shows but didn't see one. We were told by people who went to some performances it was crew doing most of it and there did not appear to be any outside entertainers on board. We have had better on Thomson. The shops were not great. If you wanted a decent coffee it came at $11 for two lattes. This included 15% gratuity which i thought was abit of a cheek to add on without first telling you they added. There were only a few seats, about 8 to sit and have a nice coffee. We did it once but didn't bother again. Sea day - the usual people who have no where to sit apart from indoors. Every cruise ship I have been on has this problem with sunbeds and unless you are up early you are sure you will not get one for the whole day. Fortunately we had only one sea day. Disembarkation was great because we were not part of the RCI arranged cattle market transportation. We had our own driver again, lovely Audi car, complementary water and swift drop off at Dubai Airport. Here though we had to go to immigration to have our passport stamped and despite RCI having our passports for nearly a whole week, they failed to stamp the passport for leaving Dubai. All in all it was an ok holiday. We knew what to expect but would we do this one again - possibly not. The ship is going to Thomson in April and it will suit them down to ground. The ship itself is lovely. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our first cruise. It was our Wedding Anniversary and my husband's 70th birthday, so it was booked up last June. We paid £3,900 for the holiday + £600 for 2 drinks packages, so expected some luxury... And we were so ... Read More
This was our first cruise. It was our Wedding Anniversary and my husband's 70th birthday, so it was booked up last June. We paid £3,900 for the holiday + £600 for 2 drinks packages, so expected some luxury... And we were so looking forward to our first cruise.... I could not sleep at all. The air con was on continuously blasting out all night. You couldn't turn it off. Neither did the temperature dial work. By Wenesday, I just wanted to fly back home. The sleep deprivation was making me feel quite ill and I was very worried about my husband who has a lung condition and air conditioning irritates it. He had a really nasty nose bleed in the night which we believe was brought on by the aircon. I did make an appointment to see the guest relations manager. He didn't turn up, so had to see the front desk manager, he said EVERY single stateroom was the same i.e. As it was an old ship, the aircon had to be on continuously. I would love to know if there were any staterooms were you could turn off/regulate the aircon. There was no empathy with our situation what so ever. The front desk manager gave me a pair of ear plugs! I did try them, but they were too uncomfortable to wear. Found one person in particular on the guest services desk to be very arrogant. Room no. was 6000 with a Balcony. It was a very small room. Found out that deck 6 had had the balconies fitted as an add on. There was no fridge and no coffee/tea making facility. The food was mediocre ... Not what we expected at all. In the Windjammer, evening meal, I called over a waiter and gave him a beef slider that was completely raw in the middle... No wonder there were tummy upsets. The bar "service" poolside was non existent most of the time. You could feel the movement/engine humming... Didn't expect that. Entertainment? Daily activities? oh dear.... We were both so bored. Some positives ... The other travellers on board were great, met some lovely people. A couple of the poolside staff were wonderful. The casino... Loved that. When we disembarked we transferred to Le Royal Meridian beach resort and spa (5*) for 3 days... It was pure luxury, top notch food and service. Sleep quality was fantastic. Dubai was fab. So at least we had a nice ending to the holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
This just about scrapes an average but is more like a 2.5 star out of 5 as there is a big difference between poor & average. Boarding was very quick & straightforward which is not always the case when you start your holiday. ... Read More
This just about scrapes an average but is more like a 2.5 star out of 5 as there is a big difference between poor & average. Boarding was very quick & straightforward which is not always the case when you start your holiday. The ship is in my option looking a bit tired & jaded, the staff are very attentive & the food in the windjammer is very good as it always is on Royal Caribbean ships, staff are very friendly & attentive, but melamine plates past their sell by dates in the windjammer is a real no no in my book & all the cups for tea & coffee are in the main badly stained. The dining room itself did have atmosphere & the food was ok but food was rarely hot but that is something you often get in a busy main dining room, the staff here were excellent & very attentive The tables are constantly wiped but in the windjammer & solarium areas as well as poolside they are very tacky as in sticky & getting it re- wiped seems to make little difference, this also applies to many of the chairs round the tables & this was the view among many passengers that the whole ship needs a proper deep clean, something that will probably only happen when it gets a new owner. The ship certainly looks better from the outside than the inside, first time I have gone on a ship where no toiletries are provided in the cabin. The cabin itself was basic but clean & acceptable, people did enjoy themselves & many areas were still busy after midnight, problem is there is not too much of a choice of ship if you wish to do a Dubai cruise & they say you do get what you pay for. The first part of the holiday was a three night stay in a top hotel & from all accounts everyone was highly impressed by this part of the holiday which in a way highlights the misgivings of the cruise, but it does seem people are accepting that the cruise is " average " but they have paid a price that goes with that valuation I suspect the three nights in the five star Sheraton Grand would normally be the price I paid for the ten day holiday, if you don't expect a five star cruise then you probably wont walk away too disappointed. The excursion in Abu Dhabi was the highlight of the cruise for me, went to the Emirates Palace hotel for High tea, this amazing hotel is jaw dropping in every way & nothing I could say about it would be enough to do it justice. Be aware that the desert safari in Dubai literally has its ups & downs, your not exactly told how extreme the ride over the dunes is, if you like roller coasters you will love it if you don't then its definitely not for you, there is a lovely meal at the end of it in the desert if your stomach is still in a position to take it. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
This is my third cruise on Royal and I have not been wowed until now. Every time I have travelled with Norweigian it has been an experience to remember and I have done their larger and smaller ships. The entertainment on board was ... Read More
This is my third cruise on Royal and I have not been wowed until now. Every time I have travelled with Norweigian it has been an experience to remember and I have done their larger and smaller ships. The entertainment on board was mediocre. The shows consisted of a really bad magician and a pretty good juggler. I found that the bands lacked performance. The activities on the ship did not always happen and the staff sometimes did not even show up to coordinated the planned activities. The dinner service in the main dining room was extremely slow. The food was ok. The food choices in the windjammer were poor but the service there was always friendly and fast. I didn't find that there was very much to do on this ship, the ship is dated, the staff is tired and I found that the overall offerings and service on the ship were poor compared to what I am used to. The Dj onboard was horrible and seemed to be playing the same songs over and over and over. Be sure to look into whether or not you need a multiple entry visa with the type of passport that you have. This visa is quite expensive. The line ups for embarkation were long and I would have liked to have been informed before hand that they needed to keep my passport. Traveling 101 : Never give up your passport so I was quite nervous when I had to do that. They keep your passport for customs purposes until 2 days before disembarkation. Disembarkation was easy. They don't want you to walk off with your luggage on this ship but I did as I always do on other ships. Most ships encourage it but this one didn't. Don't go on this trip for the ship, go for the destinations which is what I did :) I enjoyed the ports of call, the culture and my excursions. The excursions were well organized and the tour operators were awesome. I would definitely recommend these destinations but keep in mind that if you are used to great service, amenities, activities & better offerings then you may be disappointed with this ship. If it will be your first cruise you'll be fine. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This review is only about the ship as that is all we booked, love going away over the new year to a warmer climate so this cruise seemed ideal. We arrived at the cruise terminal along with a lot of fellow cruisers, check in was smooth ... Read More
This review is only about the ship as that is all we booked, love going away over the new year to a warmer climate so this cruise seemed ideal. We arrived at the cruise terminal along with a lot of fellow cruisers, check in was smooth but we were told to wait until the ship was ready for us (cabins need cleaning). There's not an awful lot at the cruise terminal so sat around waiting at least an hour then along came a member of staff with a megaphone, couldn't hear clearly what she said but caught we could board. We went straight to our cabin, which was ready (had not been told we could not) popped our bags in and went to go for lunch in the buffet restaurant, we were met by a cabin steward who rather rudely asked what we were doing and said we should not be here and showed us out of the corridor. Lunch was good, plenty choices and we had a wee wander around to get our bearings and then headed to our cabin. The cabin was average size for an outside on deck 3 forward, first time we had the bed at the window, which I quite liked. Lifeboat drill went quite smoothly then we were free to enjoy our cruise. As time went on we notice we always seemed to have a problem catching the waiters eye to get a drink order (was this because we had a drinks package) at least in the buffet restaurant anyway which was where we chose to eat all the time. The New Year celebrations were good, although it was the first time we had to buy our own drink to toast in the new year but did find they seemed to be short staffed, are they running the ship down before passing to Thomson, surely not as that would not be good customer satisfaction. Most of our fellow passengers we spoke to who had cruised with RCCI before said we had chosen the oldest ship of the fleet for our first cruise with them, but surely that should not matter. There just didn't seem to be the same welcome atmosphere you normally get all through your cruise. When it came to the end of the cruise we had to have our cases outside by a set time as usual, but we were running a little late, got cases outside our cabin only to find they were still there the next day - never had that before. So we had to take our own luggage off the ship and no one offered to help, that made us feel that we were just forgotten about and they were too busy getting ready for the next lot, never felt like that so much before, have noticed that the ships that are America run do seem to like you off the ship asap. Has it put us off cruising with RCCI, no - if the iterary is right we don't mind who it is with. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
Having spent a great cruise in September on this ship we were really looking forward to this seven nighter in the Gulf. Check in was shambolic to say the least, evidently this was due in part to the Emirate ways rather than the usually ... Read More
Having spent a great cruise in September on this ship we were really looking forward to this seven nighter in the Gulf. Check in was shambolic to say the least, evidently this was due in part to the Emirate ways rather than the usually efficient RC way. Access to staterooms was swift, partly due to the ship overnighting in Port Rashid Dubai. The DL somehow received a community spirit bypass it seems, lack of ambiance and atmosphere, unusual from past experience. More morgue than lounge. Went to the MTD station at 13.00 to request a table for two at around 7.30 was informed we would be placed on a list, but told not to hope for a slot as we were fourth on list for such a request. One of our 2 suitcases failed to reach the cabin before we went to the lounge so had to go in shorts. Asked the Diamond concierge if she could reinforce our dining request and perhaps chase it up as eating at 20.30 our designated time, was out of the question. Thats your time dining not My Time. We were told that due to demand this could not be achieved that evening, but the Hotel Director, Peter Dimitrov came and spoke with us and arranged via the Food and Beverage officer John Hazzard to seat us at our requested time in Chops Restaurant. For which we were extremely grateful. Although we felt totally underdressed we were escorted by Fransisco ,The Dining room Manager, to chops and enjoyed the meal. We didn't feel out of place once seated as the restaurant was devoid of customers anyway. We were informed that the usual concession reduction for Diamond Plus members was not in force on this sailing, maybe this was the cause for lack of patronage. The atmosphere throughout the sailing after christmas eve was definitely not festive. Well not according to British traditions anyway. The crew and passengers carol singing in the centrum on christmas eve was well supported and enjoyed by all. Unfortunately that atmosphere did not go beyond christmas eve. In fact it all went pretty much downhill from that point. The major disappointment expressed by the uk guests was a lack of a traditional christmas dinner. My idea of a traditional christmas dinner would be, Roast Turkey, with roast potatoes and vegetables accompanied Brussel sprouts and some form of forcemeat or bread based herb stuffing followed by christmas pudding and cream. The dining room menu for christmas eve displayed the above selection which we thought unusual, but Christmas day it was changed. Possibly by the chef, who I think was American. Obviously the American christmas dinner is a totally different concept to an English one. Turkey day in the States being one month prior. Fortunately my wife and I attended the Galley tour and Brunch at 11.30 which was a tremendous value for money experience. The choice of food and presentation was excellent, and we supposed that this extravaganza would be emulated during the formal evening. Sadly not. At dinner, We had the lobster bisque soup to be followed what we assumed would be the turkey christmas dinner. Not so. In fact we left after the soup and made our way to the windjammer which we learned was offering a proper christmas dinner. The entertainment on board was pretty slack, one night for a Beatle tribute band and mediocre entertainment all round. The Top Hat club offering Bingo and Who wants to be a millionaire the theatre with the same old Love and Marriage game perhaps they could consider resurrecting Take the Money or The generation game. The same old questions and the same carefully rehearsed answers, all for a bottle of Champagne. Arial displays in the centrum and the obligatory 70 s night with the same old lame YMCA gang strutting their stuff. We were fortunate enough to have spent 6 nights prior to the cruise itself in a resort on the Palm in Dubai and knowing what I know now would rather had spent another 7 days at that resort, than have endured that dour cruise. Very disappointing all round. There were a number of guests doing a back2back and were saying that for the two weeks, taking in Christmas and New year the price was outrageous to say the least. Having completed the survey via email received today, I'm afraid that the ambiguous questions don't really reflect on the cruise just undertaken. 7 nights cruising the Gulf of Oman will definitely not be on my list of things to do next year. Maybe its time to start looking further afield, to step up to Celebrity or maybe to take advantage of some of the other highly recommended cruise lines such as Princess or MSC. We have been loyal to royal but this experience overall has not been up to the usual high standards. This is no reflection on the staff or crew who carried out their duties well but as a general concern for maybe a mistake being made by RCL to stay out of the Gulf and concentrate on the Caribbean and the cash cow Asian markets. This ship is leaving RCL and evidently going to TUI Thompsons. It might be suitable for the shorter runs and the Butlins mob. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
Splendour of the Seas is a fabulous shop and a real credit to Royal Caribbean. Such a pity she is being sold on April 2016. She is has the most wonderful crew, spotlessly clean and great food. Never once did we struggle to get a ... Read More
Splendour of the Seas is a fabulous shop and a real credit to Royal Caribbean. Such a pity she is being sold on April 2016. She is has the most wonderful crew, spotlessly clean and great food. Never once did we struggle to get a table in The Windjammer restaurant or wait to get served at a bar. Cabin 8588 was on the aft. Spotlessly clean and very quiet. Bath with shower and plenty storage space in this Junior Suite. Two armchairs with footstool and sofa by the window. Huge balcony with table and two chairs, and two sun loungers. Wifi signal strength was very good and is offered as a daily package. Ports of call were good. Khasab in Oman - we chose to do the Dhow Cruise shore excursion into the Oman Fjords. A four hour trip where we walked round from the pier. Very clean and spacious dhow...cushions on the deck. Served Arabic sweet tea, fruit, dates and plenty soda and water. Trip into the fjord took about 30 mins. A real escape from tourism, the dhow dropped anchor for an hour to allow those to swim from the back the opportunity in 2m of water. Anchored next to a small island. We then set off in search of dolphins, and were not disappointed. They swam alongside and pranced, teasing us closeby. Take some warm clothing as well as your swimwear, gets a little chilly on the return journey. Muscat, Oman - stroll along the cornice to the soukh. Second visit to this wonderful place. A real assault on the sense, the hussle, bussle and smell of frankinsense. Some beautiful cashmere pashminas available but haggle. Not as many bargains anymore. Abu Dhabi - shore excursion to the Yas Marina Grand Prix Circuit. Slightly underwhelming for around $100 dollars each. Yes we got to see the track, the podium, the control room and the other sights. But when it is desolate with no cars and no interactive material it can be a drag. Lots of this is what happens when...down to your imagination. Quite a contrast to somewhere like the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the USA which is an all singing all dancing experience. Dubai - plenty of regulated taxis outside the terminal. A cab to the Dubai Mall was around 50 dirhams or £10. For a 30 minute journey very reasonable. We decided to go later in the day to catch the fountains. Unfortunately the 6pm show was cancelled due to high winds apparently, barely a breeze was to be felt ! Some shopping in the mall and a cab back. We booked this cruise independently, choosing to fly in the night before and stay in a hotel close to the airport. Le Meridien Hotel and Conference Centre. Those who were on a package with RCCL were also taken here and provided with breakfast and and then taken to the ship around 11. Personal preference. Nice to see Royal Caribbean still offering the fillet steak option in the main dining room for a surcharge. $20. Cooked to perfection, it is something that brings us back to this cruise line over and over again. And nice to turn Diamond Plus too ! ;) Entertainment was variable. Some better than other, The Beatles Tribute Band were excellent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
After reading a few negative review about The Splendour Of The Seas we were beginning to regret booking our cruise. Yes the Staterooms are small, but what do people expect! This was our 15th Cruise and we have had larger Cabins but not by ... Read More
After reading a few negative review about The Splendour Of The Seas we were beginning to regret booking our cruise. Yes the Staterooms are small, but what do people expect! This was our 15th Cruise and we have had larger Cabins but not by very much. Other reviewers complained about the food however we found a good variety of food which was always served hot in both the Windjammer and the Dining Room. Check-in was flawless, less than 5 minutes and we were onboard. The King and I freestyle dining worked very well for us, we never waited more than couple of minutes to get a table and we found the staff very willing to please. The entertainment could have been better but we thoroughly enjoyed the guy in the Schooner Bar who was a very capable pianist and singer catering for all sorts of musical tastes. Overall we had a relaxing and enjoyable time and wouldn't hesitate about doing this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
We decided not to travel far this Christmas, being a UAE resident boarding the cruise on Dec 19th was easy as it was a simple taxi journey from home which was very convenient. Suite check in was fine just a short queue which took approx. ... Read More
We decided not to travel far this Christmas, being a UAE resident boarding the cruise on Dec 19th was easy as it was a simple taxi journey from home which was very convenient. Suite check in was fine just a short queue which took approx. 15mins. Luggage arrive very timely about half an hour after we arrived in our room 8070 JS. The Suite was smaller than what we are used to having just been on the Allure of the Seas around the Med, so next time for 3 adults I will book a suite and an additional room. The ship is quite dated but I found all the rooms, common areas etc clean but the ship does show its age in some areas. The shows were not great as was the karaoke due to very limited entrants so we skipped the entertainment after giving it 20 mins or so. Schooner bar was the busiest bar on the ship with great entertainment from 10pm with a chap who played Piano, there was a carol service in the auditorium on Christmas eve which was well attended but the ship is too small for large crowds but it was well planned and delivered. Although there was one large Christmas tree, a bit of holly in the main dining room and a nice nativity display I thought the ship could have been decorated more to make the atmosphere more 'Christmassy'. Did not bother with the Windjammer or for fee restaurants, we dined very well in the King and I on deck 5, we had a fabulous service from Devkumar and his team. Food variety and quality was fine although I must admit and agree looking at other reviews the US Christmas dinner is not the same as the UK. The casino is ok quite small with no bar, drinks service can be slow. Viking lounge was ok again quite small and the only area to host a nightclub which did not allow under 18's in after 11pm so as a parent of a 17 year old we struggled to find somewhere decent after 11pm, the schooner bar is always packed. Bar service through the day was hit and miss I was not sure which bars were open or closed, generally I think the bars lacked staff, wait time was quite long on many occasions particularly in the Casino and the Schooner. The mix of nationalities was good, lots of Europeans, we met some very nice people some who had cruised often and some first timers. As long term residents in the Gulf we did not get off the ship for excursions so I can not give comment in this area. I was happy with the cruise generally but pleased we did not travel to far to embark, for me the Mega ships are far more fun but the gulf cruise was adequate for a short local break. We are now moving to platinum members of RC but on reflection I am not sure what it means, the welcome back party was rubbish and I am yet to see any decent fare reductions for future cruises or any tangible benefits, going forward I am going to keep an open mind as to who we cruise with rather than build up points with RC. Read Less
Splendour of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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